Hydraulics and Territory

Research themes and Projects

The “Hydraulics and Territory” section of the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A) is part of the University of Catania. This section is active in education and applied research and technical assistance, in integrated water resources management as well as in the environment protection. The main research activities are the following:

  • Wastewater reclamation (natural treatments such as constructed wetlands, storage reservoirs, etc.), and wastewater reuse (effects of wastewater irrigation on soil, crops and irrigation equipment)
  • Soil hydrology and eco-hydrology: characterization of soil physical and hydraulic properties. Water balance of the soil-plant-atmosphere system. Deficit irrigation techniques for Mediterranean crops;
  • Agricultural water management: application of remote sensing techniques: monitoring of the evapotranspiration and of the soil-plant-atmosphere system energy balance;
  • Soil vulnerability and protection of the agro-forestry environment: modelling of soil erosion processes; evaluation of the sedimentation in artificial reservoirs; evolution of environmental processes by time-series approaches and satellite data; bioengineering techniques for the soil erosion assessment.
  • Hydrologic and hydraulic analysis at watershed scale: observation of flow by proximal sensing techniques; application of prediction models.
  • Socio-economic impacts of urban green and gentrification; smart city and urban/rural sustainability; participatory mapping, e-planning, crowdsourcing.

Research activities are carried out by both field surveys and laboratory analysis. The main activities are: chemical-physical water characterization; soil hydraulic characterization for water retention; hydraulic permeability at saturation of soils and substrates.